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Feeling Like a Law School Dinosaur

Cartoon dinosaur

With my final semester as a law student approaching, I find myself pensively reflecting on the past half decade I have spent in law school. When I left high school I was still a teenager, but somewhere along the line, by any definition, I have become an adult. And in the insulated walls of my law school where once I was a conqueror, I now think to myself - I am not long of this world.

So I present to you, the five signs that you might be a law school dinosaur…

1. You're not sure who Harvey Specter is

There's nothing we like more then a kick-ass lawyer on TV. Somehow they manage to pull of the perfect balance between lawyer stereotypes and compassionate human beings, which provides us law students with a simple way of explaining to people why we want to be a lawyer, without having to tell them our life story.

Denny Crane, Alan Shore, Shirley Schmidt - these are the legends of our generation! There will never need to be another TV show depicting lawyers as Boston Legal has done such a perfect job. How shocked I was to have a recent conversation with a first year who said she's never seen the show. Even worse, I had no idea who this Harvey Specter is that she kept raving about... kids these days!

2. You talk about the good old days

You find yourself saying things to newer law students like, ‘that's nothing compared to what happened in my year'.

3. You don’t give a flying expletive about your grades

All you care about now is getting through those final credit points with the least possible resistance. Whatever was going to happen with your grades has already happened. Even if you do get a HD, you've done so many subjects now that your GPA would only move by 0.02. Seriously, you just want to hand everything in and have as much free time as you can!

4. You’re no longer nervous about approaching lecturers

Your lecturers once stood at the front of the classroom spouting endless pearls of wisdom which you dutifully copied down, committed to heart and occasionally yelled out in frustration when inebriated/breaking up.

You used to be so nervous to talk to them, lest you take up time they could be using to solve great legal dilemmas, or in the case of jurisprudence lecturers, watching fantasy movies and writing who the sovereign is. But now your lecturers are just people.

5. The law school resources are at your disposal

You've been there long enough that no one even raises an eyebrow when you start to take a few liberties for yourself. You've decided that the moot court is a great place to study if you need a private room, so too is Prof Corbin's office, if she's not coming in today.

Your neighbour’s three school children are now completely relying on you to be able to source stationary from the law school cupboard (you're not giving away your law firm pens after all!). And the day you can walk into the staff room, stare six lecturers in the eye, take a coffee mug and walk out – well, that's a special day!

So yes, I am a law school dinosaur. But to young students I say, as you are now, I was once. And as I am now, you may become. And as I take my final subjects, knowing I will have to love you and leave you, I was glad to grow up here.

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